Did you know that Canada has one of the highest life expectancies for both men and women in the world? The population that will live past 80 is expected to quadruple by 2051 and that means the nursing home and senior living industries will continue to grow.
The options are plentiful, yet we caution seniors to be prudent when selecting homes that include assistance and care. In the past, many nursing homes have been subject to lawsuits and poor reputations due to reports of senior abuse and extreme situations of poor daily care.
Where to Start
Mental and physical health is the best place to start. Some seniors do not belong in nursing homes, while others require assistance in the early stages of their golden years. The best place to start is with an honest assessment of your loved one’s health requirements. When you review the five basic types of living opportunities, it should become more clear as to which will be the best place for your loved one.
Some communities include all stages of advanced ageing to make it easy for seniors to get the help they need as they become less capable of performing daily duties. Some seniors will remain in good health until their final days and may be perfectly comfortable in a 55+ independent retirement living community. For those who need help or think they will need assistance in the future, take a look to see what might be the most appropriate.
- Independent retirement living communities are for healthy, active seniors who do not need daily assistance and where activities, personal care, and dining are available.
- Assisted living communities provide care for seniors that need some help with day-to-day living but who do not require skilled nursing care.
- Residential care homes are private homes that have been set-up to provide assisted care services for smaller groups of residents – generally 15 or fewer.
- Alzheimer’s/Dementia care seniors require special care and are often available in a secured area of an assisted living community or nursing home.
- Government-subsidized options include supportive housing and long-term care homes which include those who only need some daily assistance as well as those who require a moderate amount of daily assistance.
What should I ask before choosing an assisted living or nursing home?
- What are the official policies? Find out about visiting hours, smoking, food, access to phone and television, roommate selection, pets, and more.
- What are the security and safety precautions? Is immediate medical attention available? Is there a doctor on staff? If not, does a doctor serve the facility?
- What is the staffing situation? What are the reviews of the nursing staff? What is the turnover? How many nurses and nurses aides per resident? What is the turnover of the nurse’s aides?
- Is the facility certified and accredited? Have there been any formal complaints regarding the treatment of residents?
- Are residents free to make choices?
- What kinds of activities are available? Are there physical therapy and other activities I can participate in? Do they cost extra money?
- What is the fee schedule? What is included and what is not?
- Is any preventive care available? What exercise programs are available? Are there regular visits from social workers?
Make sure to talk to the residents and get their unbiased opinion when the administrator is not around. Visit again without an appointment to observe the facility in its natural state. This is a major decision as most seniors do not want to have to frequently or unnecessarily move.
What If My Parent is Already Placed in a Home and I Suspect Abuse or Poor Care?
Hopefully, the future of senior care will continue to improve as competition steadily increases. But for now, it pays to be extremely judicious. Watch and listen to your loved one and those around him/her. Even if they do not come out and complain, you should be aware and notice unusual health or physical issues.
The forms of abuse to look out for:
Violation of rights
If you suspect abuse or neglect, you will want to contact an experienced injury attorney who can assist in reporting the abuse to the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (CNPEA). Many elder abuse cases are worth taking to court to ensure the accused home worker(s) are permanently stopped. Additionally, the situation may be worth requesting compensation that covers the monthly premiums that were paid in good faith in exchange for being provided with excellent care.
Wynperle Law Will Fight For Your Rights
Our attorneys understand the civil rights involved in elder care and are prepared to find the best ways to “right” the “wrongs” your loved one has endured. Senior abuse is abhorrent and we are committed to taking every available action to rectify the situation.
As such, we encourage those who have discovered signs of abuse to schedule a complimentary consultation with us at your earliest convenience. At that time, we can exchange pertinent information and strategies and discuss the subsequent steps. Please give us a call at 1-866-696-0300 or contact us here.